Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close to me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me. Psalm 23:4 NLT
Do you know who Melba Pattillo Beals is? If your answer is yes, then you are well versed on the beginning of integration in the United States educational system. If you are not familiar with who she is: In 1957, at the age of 15, she was one of the children selected to be one of the “Little Rock Nine,” a group of nine African-American students who first integrated the previously all-white Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas.
There are many of us who have never suffered any types of “isms” in our lives; even so, if we have the slightest belief in God, we have an enemy who is always ready and willing to put our faith to the test, by attacking our beliefs and making us doubt our relationship with a loving God. Although many of us have biases and prejudices, Satan is no respecter of persons; his perspective is that Believers are all part of one family–God’s family, and his daily plan is to facilitate mistrust, doubt, and disbelief against our heavenly Father.
In the Book of Job, chapter 1, Satan accuses God of showing favoritism to Job by protecting Job from adversity and blessing him with prosperity; hence, the reason for Job’s faithfulness to God. As we read about Job’s experience, he endured the riches-to-rags syndrome, painful boils on his body, the death of all of his children, ridicule from his friends, and disbelief from his wife who gave him the advice to curse God and die. However, we know how Job’s story ended because Job remained faithful in spite of the devastating circumstances. God is always faithful! In chapter 42, we read of God’s displeasure for Job’s friends who were required to offer sacrifice for their false accusations, and the complete healing and restoration of Job’s family and his fortune.
God is faithful and just! He did not spare his only begotten Son, Jesus Christ who suffered an unspeakable death through shame and the spilling of his precious blood on a wooden cross with nails in his hands and feet, and a crown of thorns on his head.
When we reflect on the sufferings of Jesus and Job, and their victorious outcomes, we must come to realize how insignificant our trials and tribulations are in comparison to God’s redeeming power. It is only by God’s grace and mercy that we awaken each morning with the knowledge of who we are, and the ability to serve him one more day.
We must establish a personal relationship with God and live as David who proclaimed, “I will bless the LORD at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth.” Psalm 34:1
Whatever “isms,” glass ceilings, biases, prejudices, financial problems, marital discord, disobedient children, estrangement from family, grief, and loss we are experiencing, there is an Almighty and Omnipotent God that is Omnipresent who loves us with an everlasting love. Hallelujah thine the glory, Hallelujah, Amen!
He is our Jehovah Jireh, our Creator, and our All and All.
Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses so that the power of Christ can work through me. 2 Corinthians 12:8-9 NLT
Make your goal in life to have a personal relationship with God–Great is His Faithfulness, always and forevermore.
Bible Reading for today: Job Chapters 1 and 42
Prayer for today: Dear Lord and Father of all mankind: We come before you today humbling ourselves to ask forgiveness for complaining about the life that you have blessed us with. Whatever suffering that we must endure, we are not alone, you have always been here. We have been focusing on our problems and trials instead of keeping our minds and our hearts in a spirit of thanksgiving for your grace and mercies. God, you are our Healer, our Restorer, our Provider, and our Heavenly Father. We must make it personal in order to receive your strength. We ask you to continue to bless us as we draw closer to you. Thank you for this day. We love you, we praise you, and we worship your Holy Name. We ask this prayer in the Worthy name of your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen.
© Sonya Johnson Ruiz 2019